Monday, September 12, 2016

The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)

Directed by John Huston
My rating: 3 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(DVD, Universal)

George C. Scott is a former UK intelligence man tasked by a wealthy friend to investigate why the names on a list are turning up dead. After his friend ends up dead as well, he is determined to find the killer. He ingeniously makes deductions from the slimmest of clues, eventually determining the identity of the wanted man. He lies in wait at a large estate for him to make his next move, hoping to save the life of a young boy who will be his next victim. It's all a lot of fun, as the audience is "in" on the killer the whole time, the tension built around whether or not Scott will catch him. Famous for a gimmick in which big name Hollywood stars make cameos in heavy makeup, at least they do for the final "unveiling" just before the credits, as there is some controversy as to whether or not they actually appeared in the other scenes. Regardless, like most gimmicks it is unnecessary to the film.

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